Pay Per Click
The Fast Way to get your Web Site to Page One
The business of Pay Per Click is in a state of constant flux. New schemes and methods come out several times a year. However the basic idea is that an advertiser pays another web site (usually a search site such as Yahoo or Google) to list an advertisement on their site.
Unlike "organic" search engine optimization, you don't have to optimize your site for your key words or phrases (although you should anyway) and you don't have to wait while your site percolates to the top. It's also a way to get to the top when the competition has done a very expensive and superb job of getting there first.
For instance, if you are in the search engine optimization business, you'll be up against outfits that do nothing else and have optimized an entire site to grab all of the "best" phrases being used. Some blog extensively and send out (and archive) weekly newsletters on the subject. They also have thousands of high-quality incoming links. SEO and pay per click is just a part of our business, so we will probably never land on page one for most search engine optimization or pay per click phrases because the cost of the effort doesn't make economic sense. If you are in a similar situation, we'll let you know before you blow your advertising budget on something that makes no sense.
The most common pay per click method is to pay a search engine to list your ad when a particular word or phrase is being searched for. As an example, if you sell gourmet popcorn (1.5 million organic hits on Google as of July 2007), you may want to show up when "popcorn" is one of the words in the phrase being searched for. So, if someone searches for popcorn recipes, your ad, with a link to one of your site pages, will show up. If the individual clicks on your ad to go to your site, you will be charged a small fee for that action. You'll "pay for the click". If the searcher ignores your ad, most plans don't charge you anything. In this case, you don't want the person to click through unless you have popcorn recipes on your site that might lead to a sale of your gourmet popcorn.
A well-established scheme for search engine pay per click involves bidding for position. If you bid twenty-five cents for a click and some other popcorn seller bids thirty cents, his ad will appear above yours. If enough people outbid you, your ad might not show up until page 2 or lower (46 ppc ads showed up on Google for "gourmet popcorn" in July 2007). When your ad is clicked on, you'll pay the search company a quarter, the amount you bid. Obviously management is important. If you pay more for click-through's. than you make from the visits, you're doing something horribly wrong.
Another method is affiliate pay per click. You pay a site devoted to a similar or supporting product to list an ad and pay them for the click-through's. In our illustration, Netflix would be a perfect site to host your ad. Other ideas might be that popcorn recipe site, outfits that sell popcorn machines, and similar sites.
In "click marketing", you can use one or several ppc promotion strategies. New pay per click ideas and schemes surface regularly. Some work well and others eventually die out.
One of the keys to a successful pay per click campaign is to design a "landing page" that will convince the searcher that "this is the place". If someone is looking for gourmet popcorn, the landing page had darn well offer him/her an immediate opportunity to either browse through various types of popcorn and/or be able to order it immediately without having to search for it. If the customer doesn't see what s/he is looking for s/he'll click away and you've just blown two-bits to Google's pay per click fund for nothing. We can help you with your landing page.
Another important consideration is to be able to measure your results. If you design similar landing pages for Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, and so forth, you'll be able to track where the visitor came from and follow the visitor to see if s/he purchased anything. Add up the gross profits from that source and subtract your pay per click bill and you'll know if you're making or wasting money.
You'll also know where the click came from. If it's a little old housewife in India over and over again, then you'll know you're being scammed. And yes, some outfits have been defrauded by PPC sellers who make money off of their customers by taking a percentage of the click bill as their fee and sharing it with little old housewives in India or China. We'll help to keep you out of their clutches.
Is a pay per click campaign right for you? Talk to us about it. We'll help you decide. If so, we'll help you put together a winning campaign to drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic to your particular goal, be it sales, donations, or whatever.